You Must Understand the Work; Don’t Follow Confusedly!
At present there are many people who believe in a confused manner. Your curiosity is too great, your desire to pursue blessings is too great, and your desire to pursue life is too small. Believers in Jesus nowadays are full of enthusiasm. Jesus is going to welcome them to the heavenly home—can they not believe? Some people are believers their whole lives, some people believe for more than twenty years, or believe for forty or fifty years; they never tire of reading the Bible. This is because no matter what happens, as long as they believe, they will get into heaven. You have followed God along this path for only a few years, yet you are already struggling and have no more endurance. This is because your desire to gain blessings is too strong. You walking this true way is governed by your desire to obtain blessings and by your curious hearts. You do not have much understanding of this stage of work. Much of what I am saying today is not speaking to those people who believe in Jesus; it is not at all only spoken to fight back against their notions. In fact, these notions that are being exposed are the very notions that exist among you, because you do not understand why the Bible has been put down, why I say that the work of Jehovah has grown old, and why I say that Jesus’ work has grown old. In fact, you have many notions to which you have not given voice. You have many opinions that are enclosed within your hearts, and you just follow the crowd. Do you think that your notions are few? It is simply that you do not speak of them, and nothing more! Actually, you are only following perfunctorily, are not seeking the true way at all, and are not intentionally coming to gain life. You have an attitude of just wanting to see what will happen. Because you have not put down many of your old notions, there is not one among you who has been able to fully offer himself or herself up. Having arrived at this point, you are still all worried about your own fate, thinking day and night, never able to put it down. Do you think that the Pharisees of whom I speak are the “old men” in religion? Aren’t you representatives of the most progressive Pharisees of the present age? Do you think that those people I mention who check Me against the Bible only refer to those Bible experts of religious circles? Do you think that when I speak of those who once again nail God to the cross I am talking about the leaders of religious circles? Are you not the very best actors who are playing this role? Do you think that all of the words I say to fight back against people’s notions are mocking the pastors and elders of religion? Haven’t you also taken part in all of these things? Do you think that you have only a few notions? It is merely that you have all learned to be so clever now. You do not talk about the things you don’t understand or betray your feelings about them, but your heart of reverence and your heart of submission simply do not exist. As you see it, studying, observing, and waiting are your greatest practices of today. You have learned to be too clever. Do you know, however, that this is a kind of cunning psychology of yours? Do you think that a moment of cleverness on your part will help you escape the eternal chastisement? You have learned to be too “wise”! And some people ask Me things like: “One day, when religious people ask me, ‘Why has your God not performed a single miracle?’ how should I explain?” Now, it is not only that people of religion will ask such things. Rather, it is that you do not understand today’s work, and have too many notions. Do you still not know to whom I refer when I mention religious officials? Do you not know for whom I am explaining the Bible? Do you not know for whom I am speaking when I illustrate the three stages of work? Were I not to say these things, would you be so easily convinced? Would you yield so easily? Is it so easy for you to set down those old notions? Especially those “real men” who have never obeyed anyone—would they obey so easily? I know that though you have low-grade humanity, are of very low caliber, have less-developed brains, and do not have long histories of believing in God, you actually have quite a lot of notions, and your inherent nature is to not submit to anyone lightly. Today, however, you are able to submit because you are compelled and helpless; you are tigers in an iron cage, not able to give free play to your skills. It would be difficult to fly even if you had wings. Though not given blessings, you are willing to follow along. This is not your “good man” spirit, rather it is that you have been thoroughly knocked down, and you are at your wits’ end. It is that all of this work has knocked you down. If there were anything that you were able to attain, you would not be as obedient as you are today, because before, you were all wild asses in the wilderness. So what is being said today is not only directed toward people of various religious factions, and it is not to fight back against their notions; rather it is to fight back against your notions.
The judgment of righteousness has begun. Will God still serve as a sin offering for people? Will God play the great doctor for people once again? Has God no authority greater than this? A group of people have already been made complete, and have been caught up before the throne. Will He still cast out demons and heal the sick? Isn’t this too antiquated? Will testimony be possible going on like this? God has been nailed to the cross once, so will He be crucified forever? Having cast out demons once, will He cast them out forever? Does this not count as humiliation? Only when this stage of work is higher than the previous one does the age progress forward. Then the final days will be reached, and the time will come when the age is to be concluded. People who pursue the truth must therefore pay attention to being clear on visions. This is the foundation. Every time I have fellowship with you on visions, I always see that some people’s eyelids droop and they start to fall asleep, not wanting to listen. Others ask: “How is it that you aren’t listening?” He says, “This does not help my life or my entering into reality. What we want is the paths of practice.” When I don’t speak of the paths of practice, and I speak of the work, he says, “As soon as You talk about the work I begin to fall asleep.” Now I begin to talk about the paths of practice, and he begins to take notes. I begin again to speak of the work, and he returns to not listening. Do you know what you now must be equipped with? One aspect is visions about the work, and the other aspect is your practice. You must grasp both aspects. If you don’t have visions in your quest to make progress in life, then you don’t have a foundation. If you have only the paths of practice and not the slightest vision, and have no understanding whatsoever of the work of the entire management plan, then you are a good-for-nothing. You must understand the truths of the visionary aspect, and as for the truths relating to practice, you need to find the appropriate paths of practice once you have understood them; you need to practice according to the words, and enter in according to your conditions. Visions are the foundation, and if you pay no attention to this, you will not be able to follow to the very end. As you experience this way, you will either go astray or fall down and fail. There will be no way to succeed! People who do not have great visions as their foundation can only fail and not succeed. You cannot stand firm! Do you know what believing in God is? Do you know what following God is? Without visions, what path would you walk along? In the work of today, if you don’t have visions you will not be able to be made complete at all. In whom do you believe? Why do you believe in Him? Why do you follow Him? Do you believe as a sort of a game? Are you handling your life as a kind of a plaything? The God of today is the greatest vision. How much of Him do you know? How much of Him have you seen? Having seen the God of today, is the foundation of your belief in God secure? Do you think that as long as you follow along in this muddled way, you will attain salvation? Do you think you can catch fish in muddy water? Is it that simple? How many notions of yours about what the God of today is saying have you set down? Do you have a vision of the God of today? Where does your understanding of the God of today lie? You always believe that by following along you can obtain Him, that by seeing Him you can obtain Him,[a] and that no one will be able to shake you off. Do not think that following God is so easy. The key is that you must know Him, you must know His work, and you must have the will to endure hardship for Him, have the will to sacrifice your life for Him, and have the will to be perfected by Him. This is the vision that you should have. It will not do if you are always thinking of enjoying grace! Do not suppose that God is there just for people’s enjoyment, and to bestow grace upon people. You thought wrong! If one cannot risk their life to follow, if one cannot abandon every worldly possession to follow, then they will absolutely not be able to follow to the finish! You must have visions as your foundation. If the day of you suffering disaster comes, what ought you to do? Would you still be able to follow? Do not lightly say whether you will be able to follow to the finish. You’d better first open wide your eyes to see what the present time is. Though you may now be like pillars of the temple, a time will come when all of these pillars will be gnawed by worms, causing the temple to collapse, because at present there are so many visions that you lack. What you pay attention to is only your own little worlds, and you do not know what the most reliable, most appropriate way of seeking is. You do not heed the vision of the work of today, and you do not hold these things in your hearts. Have you considered that one day your God will put you in a most unfamiliar place? Do you think of a day when I might snatch away everything from you, what would become of you? Would your energy on that day be as it is now? Would your faith reappear? In following God, you must know this greatest vision that is “God.” This is the most important issue. Also, do not think that in parting company with worldly men to become sanctified that you are God’s family. Today it is God Himself who is at work among creation. It is God who has come among people to do His own work, not to carry out campaigns. Among you, there are not even a few who are able to know that today’s work is the work of the God in heaven who has become flesh. It is not about having you made into outstanding persons of talent. Rather, it is to help you know the significance of human life, know the destination of human beings, and to help you know God and His entirety. You should know that you are a creation in the hands of the Creator. What you should understand, what you should do, and how you should follow God—are these not the truths that you should understand? Are they not the visions that you should see?
When a person has visions he has a foundation. When you practice on the basis of this foundation, it will be much easier to enter in. This way you will have no misgivings on the basis of entering in, and it will be very easy for you to enter in. This aspect of understanding visions, of understanding the work is the key. You must be equipped with this aspect. If you are not equipped with this aspect of the truth, and only talk about the paths of practice, this is a huge defect. I have discovered that many of you do not emphasize this aspect, and when you listen to this aspect of truth it’s just like listening to doctrinal words. One day you will stand to lose. There are some words now that you do not understand and have not assimilated; in this case you should seek patiently, and the day will come when you understand. Become equipped little by little. Even if you understand only a few spiritual doctrines, it is better than paying no attention to them. It is better than understanding none at all. This is all helpful to your entry, and will clear away those doubts of yours. It is better than your being filled with notions. It is much better to have these visions as a foundation. With no misgivings whatsoever, it is possible to enter in with a strut and a swagger. Why bother always confusedly following in a doubtful way? Would that not be covering your ears while stealing a bell? How nice to enter the kingdom with a strut and a swagger! Why be full of misgivings? Would this not simply be suffering hardships? When you have an understanding of the work of Jehovah, of the work of Jesus, and of this stage of work, then you will have a foundation. Now you may imagine that it is very simple. Some people say, “When the Holy Spirit begins the great work, I will have all the words. The fact that I do not really understand now is because the Holy Spirit has not enlightened me so much.” It is not so easy; it is not the case that you are willing to accept it now, and then when the time comes you will use it masterfully. It is not necessarily so! You believe that you are now very well equipped, and that it would be no problem to respond to those religious people and the greatest theorists, and even to refute them. Would you really be able to do that? What understanding can you speak of with only that superficial experience of yours? Becoming equipped with truth, fighting the battle of truth, and giving testimony to God’s name is not what you think it is—that as long as God is at work all will be accomplished. At that time perhaps you will be stumped by some question, and you will be stunned. The key is whether or not you are clear about this stage of work, and how much you actually understand it. If you cannot overcome the enemy forces, and neither can you defeat the religious forces, then would you not become a good-for-nothing? If you have experienced the work of today, seen it with your own eyes and heard it with your own ears, but in the end you are unable to bear witness, do you still have face to go on living? Whom would you be able to face? Don’t think too simply now. The work later on will not be as simple as you imagine it will be. To fight the war of truth is not so easy or so simple. Now you need to be equipped. If not equipped with truth now, when the time comes and the Holy Spirit does not work in a supernatural way, then you will be at a loss.
a. The original text reads “You always believe that by following along you can obtain, that by seeing you can obtain.”